Susta i n abl e Ph i l a d elp hi a
june 2014 / issue #62
Parks & Recreation, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and empowered citizens rebuild our urban forest
ALSO INSIDE: » Art That Saves Birds » A Magical Melon Movie » Dine Out for the Environment
Branch Managers How everyone in Philadelphia can deepen their roots
verybody should know how valuable parks are, but our city conducted a series of studies to prove it. Over the last six years, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation has worked with scientists, experts, staff and residents to study our city parks and green spaces, showcasing how critical these spots are to the city’s health and quality of life. They’ve recently released a comprehensive and bold plan for preserving, restoring and caring for parks and green spaces, viewing them all as parts of a single ecosystem. You can include the street where you live as part of that ecosystem. In Philadelphia, we are lucky to have such an extensive park system. Fairmount Park alone is the largest landscaped public park in the world. With more than 9,200 acres of hills, trails, woodlands and waterfront, the 63 parks that make up the Fairmount Park system is an amazing asset. As impressive as the Parks & Rec workers are—and the more I learn about them, the more I admire them—there is one thing that is evident from this report: To maintain such an expanse of land, it is critical to have empowered and involved citizens. In our April issue, we ran an essay by Marilyn Anthony, Lundale Farm executive director and co-founder of the Philly Farm and Food Fest. It reflected on Benjamin Franklin’s lasting impact while making a case for community self-reliance. In it she wrote, “Franklin used the power of his newspaper and personal relationships to appeal to the self-interest of citizens. He convinced them to invest in endeavors that would serve, protect and enrich them, such as a fire brigade, an earthworks defense and a library. His was a simple strategy that harnessed the personal resources of genuine democracy and yielded enduring outcomes.” This perfectly captures what Parks & Rec (and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Tree Tenders program) is aiming to do. They have created programs that educate and assist us in making our city a better place to live. But the bottom line is that we need to get involved. We need to love our parks, our streets, our neighbors and ourselves. No government can do that.
Alex Mulcahy firstname.lastname@example.org 215.625.9850 ext. 102 managing editor
Sara Schwartz email@example.com 215.625.9850 ext. 103 art director
Danni Sinisi firstname.lastname@example.org 215.625.9850 ext. 104 distribution / ad sales
Jesse Kerns email@example.com 215.625.9850 ext. 100 copy editor
Andrew Bonazelli writers
Bernard Brown Daniel Heckler Emily Teel intern
Frankie Pondolph photographers
Many people have already begun to make the city a more beautiful place to live, but there is still much that needs to be done. In our cover story on page 18, we have several call-out boxes with contact information for TreePhilly, TreeKeepers and Tree Tenders. One other site worth visiting is phila.gov/ParksandRecreation. Click on the “get involved” link there for volunteer opportunities, and we will see you at the park.
Christian Hunold Gene Smirnov Albert Yee illustrator
Kirsten Harper controller
Nicole Jarman firstname.lastname@example.org published by
Red Flag Media 1032 Arch Street, 3rd Floor Philadelphia, PA 19107 215.625.9850 alex j. mulcahy, Publisher email@example.com
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COV E R P HOTO COURTESY O F S HUTTE RSTO CK ©euroban ks / P O RTRAIT BY G E NE SMI RNOV
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Cross That Bridge
As the Wissahickon Creek flows through its Philadelphia gorge, several bridges span the historic waterway in dramatic fashion, including the Thomas Mill Covered Bridge that rests deep in the park; the iconic Henry Avenue Bridge that reaches over Lincoln Drive; and the massive bridge near the creek’s mouth at the Schuylkill built by the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad (now carrying SEPTA’s Manayunk/Norristown Line). But one bridge, the McCallum Street Bridge, is the only steel frame bridge in Wissahickon Valley Park among the park's stone, concrete and wood bridges. It survived a hurricane in 2004, which washed out three other bridges on Cresheim Creek, the Wissahickon's biggest tributary. Tall and substantial, the last vehicular bridge to span the creek is also the last one built—it opened in 1985 to replace a circa-1891 bridge. The McCallum Street Bridge features rusted weathered steel that blends harmoniously with its woodland surroundings. With a deck soaring 100 feet over the creek bed, it casts an impressive shadow on the hiking trails that lead from the neighborhoods above to the creek below. Cresheim Creek, named for the German village the area’s earliest settlers originated from, bubbles above ground in Springfield Township, Montgomery County, and flows southwesterly toward Devil’s Pool, where it empties into the Wissahickon. Along the way, it forges a natural boundary between Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill. Only a handful of bridges cross the creek to connect the two Northwest neighborhoods: Stenton Avenue, Germantown Avenue, Cresheim Valley Road, two Chestnut Hill regional rail lines and McCallum Street. For more on this story, visit the Hidden City Daily, hiddencityphila.org .
In partnership with Hidden City, Plain Sights highlights historic structures with compelling stories hiding in our midst.
grid p h i l ly.co m JUNE 2014
sto ry an d p hotos by b radley maule
Sylvie Hoffman learns valuable lessons about farming in Watermelon Magic.
Top Seed Local filmmaker releases playful—and beautiful— kids' movie by alex mulcahy
rom a slippery seed you can spit to a ripe fruit best carried like a newborn, the growth of a watermelon is nothing short of spectacular. That’s just one reason why Philadelphia-based filmmaker Rich Hoffman chose the epic melon as the focus of his children’s film Watermelon Magic, released by his nonprofit film company, Spring Garden Pictures. And there are others: watermelon is the ultimate community fruit because nobody eats a watermelon alone; they can be grown just about anywhere in the world; and, according to Hoffman, they might visually remind us of our world. “To me, watermelons are a metaphor for the planet and hopefully people will want to take better care of the earth like Sylvie takes care of the watermelons,” he says. Sylvie is the puckish protagonist in the film, owner of a magic wand she uses to play harmless practical jokes, like conjuring a breeze that keeps her dad’s hat just out of reach. When an impulsive act by Sylvie leads to the destruction of the wand,
Less is truly more
her mom gives her watermelon seeds as a means of consolation. So begins Sylvie’s foray into farming. If you think this sounds like a family film, you’re right. Hoffman was trying to create something that would be appropriate and inspiring for his own children. But it’s a family film in another way, too. Sylvie is played by Hoffman’s daughter, and the character’s mom is played by her real-life mom, Holly Hoffman. Cast as the husband is Chris McNichol, a farmer the Hoffmans met at Red Hill Farm, where they bought their community supported agriculture (CSA). (Their connection to that farm was documented by Hoffman in the superb short film Fridays at the Farm, available on vimeo.com.) Enlisting your family and friends is a tried and true method used by artists and entrepreneurs to launch their dreams, but part of what made Hoffman’s vision possible—and the movie so stunning—is an ingenious filming technique. The film uses stop motion animation, a series of high-resolution photos. The result is a staccato pace for the “human” action, adding a breathtaking fluidity to watching the watermelons grow. The film work was done in England (one of the few places in the world where watermelons don’t grow easily) by Tim Shepherd, a photographer who has worked on scores of British nature documentaries, including the critically acclaimed Planet Earth. The film’s quality means that it has the po-
tential to be shown on an IMAX screen—an impressive accomplishment considering that while most IMAX films cost between $3 and $10 million to make, Watermelon Magic was shot for “a few hundred thousand dollars,” Hoffman says. But because the movie was made digitally, and many IMAX theaters require film exclusively, Hoffman is in fundraising mode so more institutions can show it. So far he’s secured $75,000 of the necessary $225,000. In the meantime, Philadelphians can see the movie (in 3D!) at the Franklin Institute. The film took over three years to make, so, Hoffman points out, if you look closely, you can see in some scenes Sylvie “has her big girl teeth, but for most of the movie she has her baby teeth.” After laboring so long, it’s a joy for Hoffman that Watermelon Magic can now be seen in his hometown. “Over time, you have dips in your enthusiasm, but it’s always great to see people, especially the reaction from kids. Kids just love it, and it’s always fun to see that,” he says. Watermelon Magic in 3D will be shown at the Franklin Theater in the Franklin Institute through October. Tickets can be purchased with General Museum Admission; $4 per ticket or $3.50 per ticket with FI membership. For more information, visit springgardenpictures.org/watermelonmagic .
Everything That Remains A MEMOIR BY THE MINIMALISTS >
Joshua Fields Millburn had a bad month. In rapid succession, his marriage ended and his mom died. His heartbreak served as a catalyst to discover some big truths; despite living the American Dream—a big house filled with stuff and a six-figure job—he wasn’t happy. In fact, he was anxious, depressed and overweight. At 28, he embraced a minimalist lifestyle, purging all unnecessary things. Soon, his best friend Ryan Nicodemus joined him on the quest for simplicity. The results: a dramatic increase in health, happiness, a popular blog, theminimalists.com, and several books documenting their journey. Their latest, Everything That Remains, brings them to Philadelphia on June 3. To register for the event, visit http://bit.ly/1k6eE2y . PHOTO BY C h ase B owm a n
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CCPAlogoFINAL.spot.ai / 13 sept 2004 © THINKING EYE, L.L.C.
Save the Date THURSDAY
MAY 22 2014
About the Event Dine Out for the Environment is a fundraising event that takes place at Philadelphiaâ€™s most sustainable restaurants. The event gives haven to Philadelphiaâ€™s hungry environmentalists and eco-compassionate alike with a list of restaurants that are in line with their most green values. A percentage of the proceeds from each restaurant goes towards Clean Air Council to help fund their work on air quality issues.
explore participating restaurants at dinEout for the environment.ORG
How you can Participate Itâ€™s easy! Just eat out on May 22nd at one of the many sustainable restaurants all around the city that are participating in the Dine Out for the Environment event.
explore participating restaurants at dinEout for the environment.ORG
D i n e O u t f o r t h e E n v i ro n m e n t G u i d e Pa i d Adv ert i s e m e n t by Cl e a n A i r Co u n ci l
WITH A BIGGER PURPOSE
Clean Air Council has partnered with many of the most sustainable restaurants in the city and the variety of ways they are giving back to the environment may surprise you. Yes, their food is delicious, but the impact they are making goes beyond food, to benefit our communities and environment.
The Mildred the-mildred.com 824 S. 8th Street Reserve on OpenTable or by phone Thursday hours: 5:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m. Open for weekend brunch.
Co-owners Michael Santoro and Michael Dorris started planning The Mildred while they were still sous-chefs. To get there, both honed their talents in cooking and management at acclaimed restaurants in the U.S. and Europe, including Philadelphia’s Talula’s Garden. Upon returning to the Philadelphia area, Dorris started his own successful catering business. In 2012, the two friends were finally able to join their talents by opening The Mildred. Santoro serves as Executive Chef, while Dorris runs the front end of the restaurant and The Mildred’s catering business as General Manager.
In their tradition of going whole-hog, The Mildred is Dine Out for the Environment’s central location.
Photos provided by The Mildred
The Mildred is a locally made work of art, from its bowls to its cocktails. The Mildred sources ingredients from local Green Meadow Farms for its seasonal American menu. Start your meal with cocktails made with house-made bitters and grenadine. The house-made theme continues throughout the meal, with all bread, pasta, and sauces made fresh in-house. In keeping with The Mildred’s ethos, waste is minimized even during in-house butchering for their homemade sausage. Your meal is served on dishes designed and handthrown by local artist and ceramics teacher John Mathews, with butter bowls made by Fleisher’s Kristina Kelps. On chilly nights, you can dine by a fireplace built with recycled wood, its fire lit with old menus. The building’s energy use is optimized by the staff’s daily energy checkpoints. After your meal, linens and surfaces are cleaned with bleach-free, earth-friendly cleaners like Murphy soap and vinegar. The one exception to The Mildred’s local focus? Their wine list, which features carefully selected finds from around the world, including many organic and biodynamic selections.
“It’s an art. It’s an art that requires us, above all, to learn to listen. The seasons change for a reason, every season has its time, our job is to maximize that time efficiently, consistently with high productivity.” Michael Dorris, The Mildred, co-owner and General Manager
Southwark southwarkrestaurant.com 701 S. 4th St, Philadelphia Reserve by phone or email Thursday kitchen hours: 5 p.m.–12 a.m.
The intimate setting of this New American farm-to-table restaurant makes it easy to focus on enjoying their careful selection of local ingredients. Southwark sources all of its meat, produce, and eggs from a variety of trusted local farms. Dishes are seasoned with herbs from Southwark’s own gardens, one in Cape May, one on the restaurant’s own patio. Honey comes from Keep Apiaries, which works to keep pollinators alive, while fish are purchased according the Monterey Bay Aquarium Guide. Finish off your dinner with a chocolate cake made from chocolate from a sustainable co-op, topped with pink peppercorn tuile. At Southwark, you can relax and dine by candlelight knowing that they’ve done all the research to make your meal perfect from earth to plate.
Square 1682 square1682.com 121 S. 17th St, Philadelphia, in Hotel Palomar Reserve through OpenTable Thursday kitchen hours: 6:30 a.m.–10 p.m.
Philadelphia’s first LEEDcertified bar and restaurant, Square 1682 was built green with FSC-certified walnut and recycled glass bar, energy-efficient lighting, and low-flow faucets. It stays green through formal recycling training for the entire staff, a ban on Styrofoam, using sustainable togo containers, and recycling waste cooking oil. Executive Chef Caitlin Mateo’s seasonal New American menu is made with produce from local farms and Mateo’s own
rooftop aeroponic tower garden. Square 1682’s Master Mixologist and bartenders incorporate the garden’s fresh herbs and edible flowers into their inventive seasonal cocktails. Master Sommelier Emily Wines’s wine list includes organic and biodynamic wines. Other drink offerings include local draft beer, organic coffees and teas, and housefiltered water instead of bottled water. Square 1682 is a sustainable and delicious dining experience from root to rooftop.
EARTH - Bread + Brewery LLC earthbreadbrewery.com 7136 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia First come, first serve Thursday kitchen hours: 5 p.m.–9:30 p.m. Open for weekend lunch.
Pizza and beer get an upgrade at Mt. Airy’s Earth - Bread + Brewery. Earth’s flatbread pizzas, featuring local ingredients, are cooked in a wood-burning oven. They’re then served alongside local and house-brewed beer. Teetotaler? Even the soda is house-made. Earth’s 140seat space holds film screenings, live music, and more, with events for all ages and interests. Reuse and recycle is the unofficial slogan here. Earth’s stylish décor belies its secondhand origins, and recycled paper products are used whenever possible. “We compost like crazy!” owner Peggy Swerver says, from food scraps to used napkins to brewing grain. As if caring for the environment weren’t enough, Earth - Bread + Brewery uses its success (and flatbreads) to support local theatres, nonprofits, and artists through food donations, fundraising, and discounts.
Photos provided by Southwark
Photos provided by Square 1682
Photo provided by the EARTH - Bread + Brewery LLC
EARTH - Bread + Brewery LLC D i n e O u t f o r t h e E n v i ro n m e n t G u i d e Pa i d Adv ert i s e m e n t by Cl e a n A i r Co u n ci l
Russet russetphilly.com 1521 Spruce St., Philadelphia Reserve on OpenTable Thursday hours: 5:30–0:30 p.m.. Open for weekend brunch.
Photos provided by Russet
From its 19th-century brick townhouse setting to its seasonal menu, Russet’s simple charm comes from the attention put into every element. Husband and wife chef-owners Andrew and Kristin Wood update their menu daily to use each season’s latest offerings. Their simple but sophisticated Italian- and Frenchinspired dishes allow the quality of local ingredients to shine through. Andrew is responsible for savory dishes, Kristin for the sweet, but both supervise the inhouse preparation of dried herbs, flours, vinegar, smoked fish, and cured meats. Russet sources produce from the couple’s own backyard, as well as friends and local farms. The décor matches the food in its eco-consciousness, with zero-VOC paints, recycled fabric upholstery, and a sustainable Marmoleum floor. So B.Y.O.B. and enjoy the highlights of the season.
Eat-A-Pita eatapitaphilly.com 128 S. 12th St., Philadelphia Thursday hours: 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Photo provided by Eat-a-Pita
Harvest Seasonal Grill
Photos provided by Harvest Seasonal Grill
Photo provided by Agno Grill
Looking for a quick meal that’s healthy for both you and the environment? Stop in at EatA-Pita. Eat-A-Pita offers pitas (of course), panini, soup, and salads made fresh from highquality local ingredients. Their Mediterranean-, American-, and Cajun-influenced menu includes a variety of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, including grilled—not fried—falafel. Eat-A-Pita’s poultry is sourced from local Godshall’s Farm, while its local vegan products come from Vegan Commissary. Whatever your choice of protein, it’s topped with local and sustainable produce and a house-made “pour.” Eat-A-Pita’s custom-cooked meals might taste indulgent, but its waste is not: recycled materials are used whenever possible, and all plastic and
disposable ware are recycled after your meal. So head over to Eat-A-Pita for a meal that’s low in impact and high in taste!
Harvest Seasonal Grill harvestseasonalgrill.com 200 S. 40th Street, Philadelphia Reserve on OpenTable Thursday hours: 11 a.m.–10 p.m.
In founding Harvest Seasonal Grill, Dave Magrogan, and Dana Farrell came from disparate backgrounds with a common goal. He is the CEO of Kildare’s Irish Pub and Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House, while she was an independent restaurateur. Both saw a need for a farm-to-table restaurant with healthy, family-friendly options. Harvest’s welcoming upscale-casual atmosphere includes reclaimed wood flooring, recycled glass countertops, and recycled paper menus. The grass-fed meat, cagefree eggs, and organic produce used in Harvest’s wide range of seasonal dishes come from a variety of local producers, including Green Acres Organic, Apple Tree Goat Dairy, and Kauffman Farms. In addition to purchasing food locally, Harvest distributes it through donations and partnerships with local nonprofits. With vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and children’s options, there’s something for everyone at Harvest.
Agno Grill www.agnogrill.com 2104 Chestnut St., Philadelphia Thursday hours: 11 a.m.–10 p.m.
Agno means “pure” in Greek and is a great adjective for Agno Grill from start to finish. At Agno, your chosen ingredients are custom-assembled for a healthy, fast Mediterranean-inspired meal. Each meal includes a base, protein, toppings, and sauce. The gluten-free and vegan-friendly ingredient options include black rice, lamb meatballs, roasted cauliflower, and pickled beets. All of Agno’s meat and poultry are certified organic and come from independent regional producers like Senat Poultry and Green Meadow Farm. In a hurry? Agno delivers, both to your door and for your health.
Agno Grill D i n e O u t f o r t h e E n v i ro n m e n t G u i d e Pa i d Adv ert i s e m e n t by Cl e a n A i r Co u n ci l
standardtap.com 901 N. 2nd St, Philadelphia Reserve online, have first-come, first-serve tables as well Thursday kitchen hours 4 p.m.–1 a.m. Open for weekend brunch
theabbaye.net 637 N. 3rd Street, Philadelphia Thursday kitchen hours: 11:30 a.m.–12 a.m., Open for weekend brunch.
Drink to good health, fill your stomach, and celebrate Philadelphia’s breweries and farms at Standard Tap. By keeping their rotating selection of beers local and draft-only, Standard Tap supports local producers and minimizes food miles. The food selection follows suit. Chef Carolynn Angle’s seasonal menus include wild game and dishes like duck confit salad. A proud supporter of Buy Fresh, Buy Local, Standard Tap’s meat, fish, dairy, and produce come from local sources such as Greensgrow Farms. Standard Tap’s green focus starts within the building itself. The sunny roof deck shares space with solar panels and a greenhouse watered with rainwater from a 600-gallon cistern. Indoors, energy from the refrigerator exhaust heats the restaurant’s hot water. Menus are written on chalkboards to save paper. And even fried food is sustainable here—Standard Tap recycled 844 gallons of waste fryer oil in 2013.
Trolley Car Café trolleycarcafe.com 3269 S. Ferry Road Breakfast/lunch Thursday hours: 7 a.m.–3 p.m.
You might not imagine a little former pool house as the setting for a gourmet brunch overlooking the Schuylkill River. Trolley Car Café, tucked beside Fairmount Park in East Falls, is all of that and more. This breakfast-through-lunch BYOB sources ingredients from its own kitchen garden, watered by the restaurant’s rain barrels. Even greener, the charming old brick building has been fitted with modern solar panels. Work up an appetite hiking nearby, and then relax with a meal—or ice cream— on the Café’s sunny patio. Or do the reverse and fuel up for your hike with breakfast and bottomless La Colombe coffee. You can even bring your dog!
It’s a given that a dark, cozy establishment named The Abbaye would have an extensive drinks menu. Sure enough, The Abbaye boasts a large selection of local and international beer, as well as wine and classic cocktails. But newcomers to The Abbaye might be surprised by their vegan and vegetarian options, including vegan wings and a seitan cheese steak. Meat eaters shouldn’t worry; the seasonally-inspired classic pub menu has plenty of options for the most avid carnivore. The Abbaye sources ingredients from local farms, only purchases responsibly raised meat and dairy, and prepares all menu items in-house. The bar runs on 100% renewable energy, and all waste oil is recycled. The Abbaye also offers live music and weekly karaoke and quizzo nights—that is, if you can divert your attention from your meal.
Photos provided by Standard Tap
Photo provided by The Abbaye
Pure Fare purefare.com 119 South 21st St., Philadelphia Thursday hours: 7 a.m.–9 p.m.
Baked salmon with celery root puree and garlicky kale. Butternut squash noodles with baked chicken and chard. All made with organic ingredients from local farms. Entrees at an upscale restaurant? No, they’re two of many menu items at the fast casual Pure Fare. If you’re looking for a more traditional quick meal, Pure Fare’s other offerings include freshly-made sandwiches, smoothies, and salads. There are options here for every diet: gluten-free, vegan, paleo, and meat-eater. Pure Fare’s commitment to sustainability extends to its own operations through composting, filtering water inhouse, and using environmentally friendly packaging. Whether you grab a sandwich to go or linger over a cappuccino and a banana cookie with a friend, you’ll be doing the right thing for your health and the environment at Pure Fare.
Photos provided by Trolley Car Café
Trolley Car Café
Photo provided by Pure Fare
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When Art and Birds (Don’t) Collide Local colleges use student works to save birds story by bernard brown • photos by christian hunold
four-inch smudge marked the spot where, last fall, a zipping bird smacked into a window on Temple University’s campus. Today, birds flying toward the same window in the corridor connecting the Paley Library and the Tuttleman Learning Center will see silhouettes of feathered friends perched on a musical staff—a student-designed, research-based pattern that warns them of the solid obstacle in their path. “When I would walk home, I would see birds on power lines, and I thought about how they look a lot like notes on a staff,” says Molly Denisevicz, a senior in Temple’s Tyler School of Arts’ Fibers and Material Studies program. Denisevicz submitted her film design as part of a sophomore design class and beat out more than 90 entries in a juried competition. Now birds on Temple’s campus will see Molly’s design and pull up before it is too late. Birds fly into glass because they want to reach what they see through it or reflected in it—trees on which they would like to land, for example. This often makes buildings that house otherwise bird-friendly institutions particularly deadly. “Visitor centers [in parks] covered in glass are particular offenders” because the glass reflects the surrounding natural habitat, says Daniel Klem, ornithologist of Muhlenburg College in Allentown, Pa. Klem adds that the same is often true for buildings at colleges and universities, whose windows can reflect the greenery of landscaped campuses. “It really is disconcerting to see the dead birds. [It’s] upsetting to students, to faculty,” says Kathleen Grady, Director of Sustainability at Temple University. The Temple grounds staff was the first to notice patterns of dead birds on campus, spurring a campus response. “For the past five years, [Temple's] Office of Sustainability has been supporting research on bird strikes to analyze the problem, then research on different interventions,” Grady says. They tried posting life-size hawk models near popular windows to scare off collision-prone songbirds, but they kept dying. Students had better results sticking bird-shaped cutouts onto the dark, reflective ground-floor windows of Beury 10
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Temple University students walk past windows decked out with bird-saving decals designed by Molly Denisevicz.
Hall, effectively warning the real birds away. Netting strung in front of windows also works, as Grady has demonstrated on a glass corridor connecting two sections of Beury Hall. The birds bounce off safely and live to fly another
day. “The netting can be installed just during migrations,” Grady says. Indeed it's an advantage for those looking to preserve a clear view of the outside the rest of the year. Migrating birds fare the worst, says Keith
Russell, Philadelphia Outreach Coordinator for the National Audubon Society. Audubon conducted a study of bird collisions in collaboration with the Academy of Natural Sciences and the Philadelphia Zoo from 2008 to 2011. The study fo-
cused on a three-and-a-half block area in Center City and counted up to 190 migratory casualties per migration. “Within that area, we found dead or injured individuals of 55 species over the three years,” Russell says. The traveling birds, which spend most of their lives in wilder settings, stop for a rest and food only to encounter glass for the first (and last) time. Only a few birds might die on a particular window, but there are a lot of windows in the U.S. These kill about 600 million birds per year, according to a 2014 study by researchers at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Smithsonian’s Migratory Bird Center, which would “place buildings behind only free-ranging domestic cats among sources of direct human-caused mortality of birds,” according to the authors. Urban birds quickly learn how glass works, or they die trying, as the Moore College of Art & Design discovered last summer. The neighboring Franklin Institute hosts a breeding pair of redtailed hawks (viewable online via a live videostream of the nest). Two of this year’s fledglings perished after crashing into windows at Moore. “The problem is that they’re urban birds of prey, and there are a lot of windows around,” says Moore President Cecelia Fitzgibbon. “A confluence of circumstances allowed us to respond quickly,” she adds. “There had been discussion of placing scrim artwork by students already.” It was a simple matter to hang the gauzy fabric works across the windows, signaling to birds that the windows are solid. Muhlenburg’s Klem, who has spent his career researching bird collisions and its solutions, found that simple patterns of lines (which could
be stuck on the windows, although even cords hung in front would suffice) are enough to steer them away. He also has looked into using patterns that are invisible to humans because many birds can detect ultraviolet light. A German company, Ornilux, has integrated ultraviolet patterns into manufactured window glass, though Klem found their products to be ineffective. “The signal character has to be stronger,” Klem says. In the meantime, simple, opaque patterns can do the trick. New York company SurfaceCare has been making windows visible to birds since a 2007 project on a Manhattan post office. “It’s not exactly magic; it’s just common sense,” says Marc Sklar, SurfaceCare’s owner. Student and faculty researchers pinpointed glass corridors connecting buildings as bird death traps, according to Grady. Birds flying between buildings don’t realize the windows in their path are solid until it’s too late. The design on the corridor between Temple’s Paley Library and the Tuttleman Learning Center ended up on the window as a film installed by SurfaceCare, working with Glass Care in New Jersey. You don’t need a work of art to save the birds, but Temple University officials wanted to get the word out about a simple solution to bird collisions. As Tyler Professor Alice E. Drueding says, “It’s critical to contribute to social discourse formation and communicate a message that needs to get out there.” bernard brown is an amateur field herper and bureaucrat. He writes about urban natural history and sustainable eating. J UNE 20 14
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Don’t wait until tomato season to have bruschetta story and photos by emily teel
here’s a reason that tomatoes are the perennial farmers market favorite. They lend a sweet, meaty flavor and color to any meal, and require little more than a quick chop to become dinner. But although there’s something great about the singular tomato-basil bruschetta, there are countless other ways to make a meal using early-season favorites instead—all on the grill. Faintly sweet summer squash and asparagus caramelize alongside halved lemons; combined with a crumble of feta, it yields a savory topping that is equally good heaped onto grilled baguette as it is straight out of the bowl. The richness of avocado paired with spicy radishes, and cool smoked trout yields a bruschetta that comes together faster than the grill heats up. When fresh strawberries are available, a quick toss in a grill-warmed pan with a little maple sugar gives them campfire flavor, creating a glossy sauce that, when splashed over a triple cream cheese, could compete with our love of tomatoes any day. emily teel is a food freelancer dedicated to sustainable, delicious food in Philadelphia. See more of her work at emilyteel.com .
W HAT'S IN TH E BO X?
Greensgrow Farms In the Mid-Atlantic, June tends to feel like a half-and-half mix of spring and summer. Very delicate greens, peas and asparagus pave the way in the early weeks for the more robust, summery favorites such as cucumber and fennel, which begin to arrive near the end of the month. Kensingtonbased Greensgrow Farms pulls from 150 area growers and producers, and members of the CSA can expect some full flavor favorites in their shares. greensgrow.org »» Eggs »» Strawberries »» Asparagus »» Peas »» Romaine Lettuce »» Tuscan Kale
»» Red Beets »» Savoy Spinach »» Parsley »» Radishes »» Spring Onions
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Smoked Trout, Radish & Avocado Bruschetta 1 large avocado, halved 1 filet of smoked trout, flaked ½ bunch radishes thinly sliced
Baguette or other crusty bread Extra virgin olive oil Black pepper Pinch of salt
Heat grill to high heat. Halve baguette longways or slice bread thickly. Grill until charred in places. Mash half of the avocado and spread onto the bread; slice remaining half. Top the bread with sliced avocado, radishes and flaked trout. Grind black pepper over top and drizzle with olive oil to serve.
Grilled Asparagus & Zucchini Bruschetta with Charred Lemon ½ pound asparagus 1 pound zucchini or other summer squash 1 ½ lemons
6 scallions ½ cup feta, crumbled 1 clove garlic, halved Baguette or other crusty bread
Heat grill to high heat. Halve lemon and drizzle cut side with olive oil. Wash asparagus and snap off stem ends. Trim scallions and, if bigger in diameter than a dime, halve longways to create a flat side. Slice zucchini and summer squash into planks the width of a pencil. Toss squash with a tablespoon of olive oil and pinch of salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, toss asparagus and scallions with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Place lemon, cut side down, and sliced squash on the preheated grill. Grill squash 4 minutes, rotating 90 degrees halfway through to create grill marks. Flip. Once squash has flipped, add asparagus and scallions to the grill. Grill all produce an additional 4 minutes until pleasantly charred in places. Remove squash, lemons, asparagus and scallions from the grill to a cutting board and allow to cool slightly.
Black pepper Salt Olive oil
Squeeze juice from charred lemons into a measuring cup and add the equivalent amount of extra virgin olive oil. Stir to combine. Chop vegetables together and add half of lemon-olive oil mixture, tossing to combine. Halve baguette longways or slice bread thickly. Grill until charred. Remove from grill and rub each slice with halved garlic clove. Top bread with vegetable mixture. Drizzle remaining lemon-olive oil mixture over top and serve.
Grill-ROASTED Strawberry Bruschetta 1 quart strawberries 2 tablespoons maple sugar Optional: sherry vinegar or lemon zest 8 oz. mascarpone or a triple cream cheese, such as Delice de Bourgogne Baguette, halved or other crusty bread, sliced
Heat grill to high heat and preheat an 8” cast iron skillet along grill. Quarter or slice strawberries into a bowl with maple sugar, and toss to combine. When the grill and skillet are hot, add strawberries, stirring. The berries will sizzle and char, releasing liquid as they cook. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until berries appear slumped and liquid has thickened slightly. While berries cook, grill baguette until charred. Remove from grill and spread thickly with mascarpone or triple cream cheese. Remove strawberries from heat and spoon over baguette. If desired, top with lemon zest or a drizzle of sherry or vinegar. J UNE 20 14
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Tastes of Philly
Fork’s ‘Our Terroir’ menu boasts flavors from around the region by emily teel • photos by albert yee
ravel anywhere and you’ll find foods that taste of specific places and flavors that connect people to landscapes. New York City, for some, can be encapsulated in a bite of bagel or a sip of cider. For Philadelphia, it’s cherry water ice on the first really hot day in spring, or a smear of golden Lancaster County butter. Sometimes we can lose perspective on the flavors of where we’re from, but all it takes is an outsider to help us approach them with renewed vigor.
Eli Kulp, the chef of Fork Restaurant and High Street on Market, both in Old City, is originally from the West Coast, and came to Pennsylvania from New York to take the position of chef at Fork in September of 2012. Kulp, recently named a 2014 “Best New Chef” by Food & Wine magazine, soon found himself inspired by the variety of ingredients from local sources. “Whenever you move,” Kulp says, there’s a drive, as a cook, to discover the ingredients that represent your new landscape. “You want to sort of immerse yourself in it.” This past winter, Kulp and his team at Fork worked with local producers to develop “Our Terroir,” a seven-course tasting menu inspired by the wealth of local products that Kulp has encountered in Philadelphia. Here, the French term—traditionally used to to indicate how the flavor of a wine expresses specific flavors based on where it was produced—is applied to food instead. In the context of Fork’s menu, “terroir” reflects not only the use of locally sourced ingredients, but also the food cultures of the region. The meal begins with a dish that evokes Philadelphia’s proximity to the shore. “The raw bar” is comprised of an oyster on the half shell topped with vinegary celery granita and a small buckwheat bagel coated in trout roe. The second dish invokes the orchards of Adams County with an apple salad with watercress and ginger shrub, scattered with buttery hickory nuts sourced from Berks County. Kulp’s goal is to have the menu’s ingredients reflect the dynamic region in its entirety: “I didn’t want it to be a Lancaster County menu.” Though Lancaster County is famously agricultural in its heritage, there are inspiring ingredients available from producers in almost every other county that surrounds Philadelphia as well. So, while the plate of wonderfully rich, brown buttered noodles with egg yolk and the shoofly pie for dessert are undeniably inspired by the Pennsylvania Dutch, Fork’s menu gives equal attention to “The Pine Barrens” as well. The dish, named for South Jersey’s sandysoiled pine forests, is a carpaccio of Highbourne Farm venison with charred cabbage, pine nut purée and pine tea. As the weather warms and fresh produce becomes increasingly available, Kulp will shift the menu dish by dish rather than changing the entire progression at once. “Our menu always evolves … one or two [dishes] at a time because that’s how the season changes … [in] spring especially, and spring starts everything,” he says. Winter, spring, summer or fall, Kulp isn’t short on inspiration. He says in curating the “Our Terroir” menu, “we realized just how much is out there. I could do a 50-course menu and not run out of ideas.” emily teel is a food freelancer in Philadelphia. See more of her work at emilyteel.com .
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Dishes from the "Our Terroir" tasting menu include Oyster with celery (left), and “The Pine Barrens,” which features Dallastown venison, pine tea and charred cabbages (right).
W HAT A DI SH ! Try this the next time you visit Fork
ROAST PORK Though “Our Terroir” takes its inspiration from our region, one dish speaks to Philadelphia specifically. An entrée of tender roasted pork, served with fermented broccoli rabe and chips of sharp provolone, is an elegant twist on a roast pork sandwich, with bitter greens from John’s, DiNiC'S or Tony Luke’s.
The Near and Deer Highbourne Farm in Dallastown supplies Fork with local venison Judging by the number of products available that claim to prevent deer from snacking on suburban gardens, it seems as though venison should be easy to come by, but chef Eli Kulp and his cooks at Fork Restaurant had to search awhile before finding a local supplier. In October of 2013, thanks to the internet, they connected with Highbourne Farm in Dallastown, Pa., whose venison now appears on Fork’s menu. John Behrmann started Highbourne 26 years ago when he imported purebred red deer from New Zealand. Red deer, with their huge antlers, are more closely related to North American elk than their whitetailed relatives. Prized for the high quality of their meat, they have relatively even temperaments that make them attractive as livestock, though they’re still wilder than cattle. “They will fight you if they feel like they have to, so you have to respect them,” says Connie Hutchison, who with her husband, Trent, have been the caretakers of the Highbourne herd for the past decade. Because the herd is fed mostly on pasture (except in winter, when they receive grains and hay to supplement) and are largely self-sufficient, the caretakers at Highbourne don’t interfere with them too much. For more information on Highbourne Farm, visit highbourne.com .
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A TreePhilly participant accepts a free yard tree April 6 during the program's West Oak Lane Library Giveaway.
TREE FOR ALL Want to clean the air and get your hands dirty? Here are three programs that will help you get started. story by sara schwartz • photos by charles bouril
Over the past few centuries, Penn’s Woods have taken a beating. What
was once vast forest land as far as the eye could see is mostly pavement today. A 2003 study found that within the five-county Philadelphia region, an estimated five million trees had been lost over the previous 15 years. The most recent study on Philadelphia’s trees, completed in 2010, showed that the region had a tree canopy—the uppermost layer in a forest—of 20 percent, but identified an additional 49 percent (42,451 acres) where trees could be planted. Now trees are making a comeback. Once-barren streets are seeing plantings, as people remember their incredible value— providing shade, purifying the air, filtering pollution, absorbing noise and strengthening neighborhood connections. Trees have also proven to increase the value of homes. A collaborative partnership between city agencies, nonprofits and citizens is ushering in change, one tree at a time. TreePhilly, a Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Department initiative, gives away free yard trees to Philadelphia property owners. TreeKeepers, part of TreePhilly, is a seasonal maintenance team that handles a bevy of beautification and park clean-up projects. And Tree Tenders, a Pennsylvania Horticultural Society program, offers hands-on tree-care training, ongoing education and treeplanting opportunities across the region.
TreePhilly: A Tree of One's Own TreePhilly started with some ambitious goals. In 2009 Mayor Michael Nutter released the Greenworks plan, which set a number of sustainability goals, including increasing the tree canopy to 30 percent throughout the city. To reach that goal, Parks & Rec would need to go beyond planting trees on public land; Philadelphia landowners would need to be encouraged to start planting trees, too. TreePhilly Program Manager Erica Smith Fichman was hired in 2011 as a “generic tree campaign manager” to help figure out what the program should be. “It very much is my baby,” she says of what turned into TreePhilly. The program officially launched in early 2012 by Parks & Rec in partnership with Wells Fargo and the Fairmount Park Conservancy. As of spring 2014, approximately 13,726 trees have been distributed or planted through TreePhilly programs, such as the Yard Tree Program, Street Tree Block Program and other infor-
mal plantings and giveaways, including providing trees for Love Your Park events, and creating the recent Arbrew Day event on Arbor Day. That event, a partnership of TreePhilly, Fairmount Park Conservancy and Yards Brewing Company, offered beer specials at five local bars and free yard trees to Philadelphia property owners. One couple left the bar with a tree between them—while riding on their motorcycle. “We were hugely successful,” Smith Fichman says of the event, which ran from 4:30 to 8 p.m. “We gave away all of the trees by 6:30 or 7.” To apply for a free tree (or two), residents register online, which prompts educational emails, reminders about giveaways and updates from TreePhilly. Smith Fichman says at one recent event up to 350 people signed up, and at another event the line for trees was “maybe a quarter of a mile long.” She adds that the wait doesn’t bother people: “They’re happy to come and wait in line.”
TREEPHILLY Need a tree on your street or in your yard? You can get two free from TreePhilly, and they make sure you get the best tree for your space. They prepare you with educational emails, and then follow-up after you've picked up your tree to see whether you need any more help.
For more information, visit treephilly.org or call 215-683-0217.
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Andrew Emma, TreeKeeper’s program manager, shows TreePhilly yard tree recipients at the West Oak Lane Library how to properly plant a container tree.
At each giveaway, TreePhilly sets up stations where residents grab information packets and a Wells Fargo swag bag before visiting a table of tree experts who help them choose the right tree for where they live. Smith Fichman says many factors are considered in that decision. Do they want berries or flowers? How big or wide should the tree be? Is there a lot of sun or mostly shade? In addition to giving away larger shade trees, TreePhilly also hands out small flowering trees, and this year, they added fruit trees so people have more options. “Not everyone gets excited about a large shade tree,” she says, laughing. TreePhilly started giving away fruit trees at the Fall 2013 giveaway. The fig trees are especially popular. Residents can’t register for a specific tree, but when they arrive at a giveaway, they often have a tree in mind, thanks to the educational emails TreePhilly has sent. After a tree type is chosen, volunteers demonstrate how to plant the tree and give residents mulch. Staffers and volunteers package the tree and even help strap it to their car—or to a bike, as one resident did. (A Drexel frat even picked up a tree using their keg trailer.) The education doesn’t end there. TreePhilly follows up to thank you for attending, see whether there are questions and share information on Tree Tender classes. In addition to giving away free yard trees, TreePhilly signs people up on behalf of the City of Philadelphia to get a street tree planted by contractors. In addition to the City, other partners have rallied around TreePhilly as it greens Philadelphia, including UC Green, an environmental volunteer stewardship in University City and surrounding communities; Philly Tree People, a nonprofit organization that organizes tree plantings in East Kensington, Kensington and Fishtown; and SERVEPhiladelphia, the Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service program. But, like many Parks & Rec programs, TreePhilly is reliant upon volunteers. Brooke Allen, 38, has been volunteering for two and a half years at the spring and fall tree giveaways. She and her boyfriend, Matt Migliore, are active volunteers at Mifflin Square Park in South Philadelphia, and learned about TreePhilly through the program’s yard tree giveaway there. Allen enjoys working with TreePhilly because the program goes beyond just handing off a tree to a resident. “You’re getting a tree and you’re getting some education with how to take care of it,” she says. “Other programs will offer you a free tree, but the education behind [TreePhilly]— and even allowing the resident to become part of the decision making to what kind of tree they’re going to get—really offers something special.”
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TreePhilly partnered with TreeNE and the Friends of Pennypack Park to give away more than 650 trees on April 5 at the Pennypack Environmental Center.
Volunteer Ali Rosenberg and TreePhilly's Erica Smith Fichman pose at a recent giveaway.
The giveaways have grown so popular that TreePhilly staffers and volunteers have had to turn away walk-ups, Smith Fichman says, adding that staffers instead encourage them to sign up for the next tree giveaway. The popularity of the program is important. “The message is that everyone matters in this,” she says. “Everyone’s slice of property matters and together, we have to work together in order to increase the tree canopy. [The tree is] purifying the air, shading your house, but it’s also providing those benefits to your neighbors—that’s a message that doesn’t get said really often.” She adds that a community coming together to plant trees and helping to green Philadelphia reinforces what TreePhilly is trying to accomplish: “You’re not just doing this for yourself.”
TreeKeepers: Filling the Maintenance Gap If you’re ever walking along a sidewalk or through a park and an annoying low-hanging tree branch doesn’t thump you on the head, you can probably thank a TreeKeeper. The Parks & Rec program is a part of TreePhilly and aims to train paid workers in all aspects of arboriculture—learning to identify and remove invasive species, improving stormwater infrastructure through maintenance, clearing trails, planting trees and more, including clearing tree branches and overgrowth.
TREEKEEPERS TreeKeepers was established in 2011 when Joan Blaustein, the division director of Urban Forestry & Ecosystem Management at Parks & Rec, partnered with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to use a Forest Service grant to create the program. After the first year, the program was fully turned over to Parks & Rec, which paired it with TreePhilly to provide a maintenance arm. Andrew Emma, TreeKeepers’ program manager, has been with the program since the beginning and manages eight fulltime crew members and a crew leader. The team works nine months a year (recently increased from six months), April through December, working at the more than 300 parks, recreation centers, playgrounds, health centers, and police and fire stations. The crew has planted trees at schools; assisted TreePhilly with yard tree giveaways; helped to train people enrolled in the environmental stewardship jobs program, Power Corps PHL; taken part in Mayor Nutter’s Arbor Day events; and even worked alongside the Philadelphia Phillies on volunteer excursions. The crew works with Tree Tender groups, volunteers and local park Friends groups to keep parks and green spaces in tip-top shape. Alice Reiff, who started a Friends group at Inn Yard Park in East Falls in 1998 and has volunteered there since, worked with the TreeKeepers the day before Arbor Day this year, helping to prepare the park for an event. “We needed help [and] they made such a difference in our park,” she says. “The park just looked beautiful. I can’t say enough about them. They were a great group of young men.” Emma says that in 2013 the TreeKeepers visited more than 40 sites, removing 100 tons of woody plant debris, pruning over 3,000 trees and maintaining “thousands of feet worth” of park trails. He says that while the city plants street trees and yard trees, many of the departments don’t have staff members or resources to keep up with tree maintenance. “There are full-time tree crews who remove the largest trees and limbs, and then the Friends groups who often mulch and do ground-level work,” Emma says. “But there’s no one
Does your Friends Group need a hand with some heavy lifting? TreeKeepers is happy to help. Wait, you aren't in a Friends Group? There are almost 50 in Philadelphia, listed on the Parks & Rec website. Need to start one? You can find out how there, too.
To get involved with a Friends Group, visit phila.gov/ParksandRecreation/ getinvolved. To contact TreeKeepers, visit treephilly.org/treekeepers.
doing the mid-level work,” so TreeKeepers tries to “fill that gap.” Emma says he encourages the crew to undergo Tree Tenders training, “so when they join, they have a little bit of background [and understand] why trees are important.” It’s his aim to retain the crew from year to year so they can expand their base knowledge and set the workers up to be leaders. Students from Many of the TreeKeepthe Chester A. Arthur School help ers are ex-offenders, Emma mulch a street tree says, which adds an even for TreePhilly's greater sense of commuArbor Day event April 25 at Seger nity to the program. When Playground. TreeKeepers was created in 2011, it worked with a PHS initiative called Roots to Re-Entry, a 14-week green skills training program that helps inmates in the Philadelphia Prison System find employment in local food production and landscape management upon their release. When TreeKeepers was starting, it was natural to pluck two former inmates from Roots to Re-Entry. While neither are with the program today, Emma says that the program continues to draw ex-offenders. “It’s something that we take pride in,” Emma says. “It’s a great learning experience for both the ex-offenders and nonoffenders to learn more about the diversity in the city and how important job training and re-entry is.”
Tree Tenders: Educate Yourselves, Recruit Your Neighbors
TreeKeepers Josh Burno, Calvin Nixon, Jesse Leary and Jorge Vera take a break while preparing Inn Yard Park in East Falls for Arbor Day festivities.
Volunteer Amy Weidner likes to joke that because she’s so invested in greening her neighborhood, she’s been in more people’s houses to talk about trees than for any other reason. “People may know me as the crazy tree lady,” she says, laughing. The energetic mother of four joined the Pennsport Tree Tenders group in 2010. She recently helped to plant 25 trees in the Pennsport neighborhood, and enjoys the sense of community she’s found among neighbors and new friends. “There’s plenty of ways to get involved,” she says. “It’s been a fun way to get to know my neighbors. I’m invested in the city.” Tree Tenders was born more than 20 years ago out of need. In the ’90s, there weren’t many programs that aimed to plant
Lef t PHOTO by Cynth ia K is h i nch a n d / r i g ht PH OTO COU RTESY OF TRE E P HIL LY
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Mindy Maslin, project manager of Tree Tenders of Philadelphia, explains tree maintenance to attendees at TreePhilly's Northeast Tree Giveaway at the Pennypack Environmental Center in early April.
more trees in Philadelphia. Mindy Maslin, project manager of Tree Tenders of Philadelphia, was hired by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society in 1991 to manage youth programs, but she began learning about community tree stewardship programs around the country. One in Chicago particularly caught her eye, and spurred her to start a similar program in Philadelphia in 1993 that utilized her background in social work and community organizing. Today, there are more than 4,000 Tree Tenders and 50 Tree Tender neighborhood groups, Maslin says. The program offers hands-on tree care training in the region, and during the nine hours of training, covers tree biology, identification, planting, care and how to work in a community. Tree Tenders planted 850 street trees during the last weekend of April. “[Tree Tenders] don’t just learn about planting trees; they learn how to recruit their neighbors as well,” Maslin says. “The benefits of trees goes so far beyond what we knew in ’93. … There’s research that shows that tree planting can help to reduce crime in neighborhoods, by just allowing people to have an environment where they want to spend more time outside. People like to go where there’s green.” To help create those green places that people crave, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) launched TreeVitalize, a statewide public/ private partnership. That initiative has taken the Tree Tenders training statewide and added 150,000 trees to Pennsylania since 2004. PHS has expanded that mission even further with their Plant One Million Campaign, a three-state, 13-county effort which aims to plant one million trees in southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Maslin says it’s the largest multi-state tree planting campaign in the country. As of the end of April, “we’re at 300,850,” she says. To get street trees planted in a neighborhood through Tree Tenders, three residents need to complete training, then submit an application. PHS sends those applications to Parks & Rec, which then picks a species—Maslin says they work with
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about 45 different varieties—and takes into account overhead wires, sidewalk shape, plant diversity, and whether the tree can handle the challenges of growing in a city, including the onslaught of salt and ice that winter brings. PHS, like many of the other tree planting programs, always aims to plant native trees, but because of climate change, many of those native trees are no longer thriving, so PHS started providing hardier non-native trees with better survival rates, like the ginkgo tree. But it’s not as popular as other species of trees. “When people ask me, ‘How do you get rid of those berries?’ I say, ‘Find a good recipe,’ ” Maslin says, laughing. Maslin is optimistic about Philadelphia’s future and the number of programs that are helping to add to the city’s tree canopy. “It’s so cool that it’s really taking off like this,” she says. “For years it seemed like it was just the Tree Tender program. The city was pretty horribly underfunded for tree planting and tree care, and now there’s a lot of funding out there and the city is able to do a lot of work it wasn’t able to do before—and that’s amazing.”
TREE TENDERS Want to rally the folks on your street or in your community to plant more trees and take care of existing ones? There are 50 groups in Philadelphia you can join, and there is a need for many more. Take the Tree Tenders classes, and watch their instructional videos online, to learn the basics of taking care of a tree.
To learn more, visit phsonline.org/greening/tree-tenders.
Watch instructional videos at phsonline.org/greening/tree-tenders/ tree-tenders-video-library
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Art in the Open: Philadelphia
30 artists will be selected from across the country to participate—including 16 from Philadelphia—will be making art outside, along Schuylkill Banks trail from the historic Fairmount Water Works alongside the Philadelphia Art Museum south to the Locust Street Green.
→→ Fri., May 16 through Sun., May 18. Free.
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Join Wyck House for its first Rose Festival, which is part of The Behind the Fence Festival Series: Feeding Curious Souls. The rose garden at Wyck is widely recognized as the oldest rose garden in America still growing in original plan. The Wyck rose garden will be at peak bloom and event includes live local music, interactive demos and workshops, delicious food, unique vendors, stimulating tours and children’s activities.
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Camden County First Spring Garden Fair
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Environmental Center, 1301 Park Blvd., Cherry Hill, N.J. For more information, call 856-216-7130, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit camden.njaes.rutgers.edu/garden
Birding Adventure: The Eastern Shore of Maryland
Go on a three-day birding adventure at the eastern shore of Maryland. Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge, the primary destination, is a 2,285-acre island refuge and a major feeding and resting place for migrating and wintering waterfowl. The group will also visit the 3,300 acre Chesapeake Farms that features many rest areas for birds where all can observe a wide variety of wintering waterfowl. →→ Departs Sun., May 18, returns Tues. May 20.
Single member fee: $415, double member fee: $315. Single non-member fee: $495, double non-member fee: $415. Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, 100 E. Northwestern Ave. For more information and to register, visit online.morrisarboretum.org/classes
Intro to Jointer + Planer
Release your inner woodworker by learning to use the bandsaw, jointer and planer to make a beautiful and functional cutting board of your own. No experience is necessary for this two-day workshop, but youth under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
→→ Tues., May 20 and Wed., May 21, 6:30 p.m. to
PENCIL IT IN! To have your event considered for publication in Grid, email email@example.com. Listings are free. Submissions are due on the 19th of every month to run in the next issue. For a full list of calendar events, visit gridphilly.com.
8:30 p.m. $69 for individual, $89 for a couple. The Department of Making + Doing, 3711 Market St. Ground Floor. For tickets and information, visit dmdphilly.org/events .
Cool Season Grass Walk
Create a yard with vegetation that offers food and cover and you’ll have a refuge for several wildlife species.
The Energy Coordinating Agency and the Philadelphia Water Department are teaming up throughout the spring to hold free rain barrel workshops throughout the city. Rain barrels help collect water for non-drinking purposes and prevent polluted stormwater runoff from damaging our local ecosystems. Collected water is ideal for watering your plants, washing your car or cleaning around the house. Participants who are Philadelphia Residents have a chance to receive a free rain barrel that will be delivered and installed. For more information, call 215-609-1026 or visit bit.ly/RrTUrO . →→ Sat., May 17, noon -
→→ Tues., May 27, 7 to 1p.m. Mt. Airy Arts 8 p.m. Pennypack Garage, 11 Mt. Airy Ave. Environmental Center, →→ Mon., May 19, 6:30 8600 Verree Rd. →→ Sat., May 31, noon 7:30p.m. John F. St. to 1p.m. John F. St. Community Center, Community Center, 1100 Poplar St. →→ Tues., May 20, 7 to 8 1100 Poplar St. →→ Thurs., June 5, 7 p.m. Mariposa Food to 8 p.m. Peoples Co-op, 4824 Baltimore Emergency Center, Ave. Finite space, 325 N. 39th St. register at education@ mariposa.coop .
Medicinal Herbs Workshop: Spring Oils & Salves
Start your own herbal medicine cabinet with this hands-on workshop taught by Herban Momma, Kristin O’Malley. Learn to make infused oils and herbal salves for healing the bug bites, scrapes, scratches and burns that come with the season. O’Malley will discuss preparations for herb-infused oils and how to make an all-purpose skin healing herbal oil that attendees can take home. →→ Sat., May 24, Noon to 2 p.m. $35. Registration
required. Greensgrow Farms, 2501 E. Cumberland Street. For more information and to register, visit greensgrow.org/event .
Fermentation on Wheels Workshop
Tara Whitsitt from the Fermentation on Wheels will be rolling up to the Philly Homebrew Outlet to hold a day-long event to benefit her charitable education project. Whitsitt, who drives a solar-powered bus that runs on biodesel, preservers about 50 pounds of vegetables a week. She’s traveling around the U.S. from Eugene, Ore., to speak about microagriculture, sustainability and how fermentation and preservation play into the food movement.
→→ Sat., May 24, 9 a.m. to noon. $10 TLC members;
$15 non-members. Bucktoe Creek Preserve, 432 Sharp Road, Avondale, Pa. For more information and to register, visit tlcforscc.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org . 26
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→→ Sat., May 24. 3 p.m. Free. Philly Homebrew Outlet,
1447 N. American St. For more information, visit phillyhomebrew.com .
Monthly Cooking Class and Nutrition Series
Holistic Health Coach, Molly Bidlack, will demonstrate how to whip up some cool spring salads so your picnics are more colorful and fun. She’ll also teach attendees how to make rainbow quinoa pesto salad, and some fun variations on the theme. Come to learn or share what you know. →→ Sun., May 25, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Free. Mariposa’s
Upstairs Meeting Room, 4824 Baltimore Ave. To RSVP and get more information, e-mail email@example.com.
Adult Class: A Botany Collection: Pressing and Preservation
Botany Collection Manager Alina Freire-Fierro will delight participants with stories and plant sheets prepared by early botanists. She’ll explain why current Academy botanists collect, where they collect, and the ways in which they preserve plants for future generations. Participants will learn how to make their own herbarium sheet to take home. →→ Wed., May 28, 6 to 8 p.m. Cost is $25 for
members, $20 for non-members. The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. For more information and to register, call 215-299-1060.
Medicinal Plant Walk
The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County’s first part of the Wild Foraging Series will identify medicinal plants found in nature and teach about their healing properties. Led by April Coburn of Nettle Juice Herbcraft.
→→ Sat., May 31, 9 a.m. to noon. $10 TLC members;
$15 non-members. Bucktoe Creek Preserve, 432 Sharp Road, Avondale, Pa. For more information and to register, visit tlcforscc.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Ice Cream Workshop with Little Baby’s
Little Baby’s Ice Cream co-founder Martin Brown will lead a workshop centered around the basics of ice cream production in the home kitchen and using your imagination to make your own delicious icy and creamy treats. This workshop can be enjoyed by folks with ice-cream makers and those without. Martin will discuss custards, Philadelphiastyle ice cream, non-dairy frozen treats and water ice. Everyone will get a little taste to take home and a basic recipe to get started. →→ Sat., May 31, Noon to 2 p.m. $35. Greensgrow
Farms, 2501 E. Cumberland Street. Registration required. For more information and to register, visit greensgrow.org/event.
Nature Sleuths at Morris Arboretum Morris Arboretum’s Pam Newitt leads children ages 5 to 7 in exploring the garden with Nature Sleuths. Each session will look at trees, birds and other wildlife that call Morris Arboretum their home. A take-away art project related to the outdoor adventure will be included in each class. Event runs June 1 and June 8 as well. →→ Each Sun., beginning May 18 through June 8, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. $85 for
members, $100 for non-members. Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, 100 E. Northwestern Ave. For more information and to register, visit online.morrisarboretum.org/growingminds .
Shtetl Skills Workshop Series: Seed Saving The seed saving workshop and exchange by the Philly Seed Savers will include hands-on activities and a short lecture about best seed saving techniques for urban gardens. Event will also include an exchange of seeds, plants, recipes and stories. Please bring seeds, plants and recipes you want to swap and share.
Hazon Philadelphia Environmental Bike Tour Grab your bike and and ride in the National Pinelands Reserve in Philadelphia’s first annual environmental bike tour. Bike the educational pike tour, eat local food and participate in outdoor activities all while learning more about Jewish environmentalism. The tour has varied routes to chose from depending on your skill level.
→→ Sun., June 1, 1 to 4 p.m. Attendance fees are
→→ Sun., June 8, 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Rider
donation based, choose when registering. Ahimsa House, 5007 Cedar Ave. For more information and to register, visit jewishfarmschool.org/shtetl.
registration fees apply. The Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge, 4 Sawmill Rd., Medford, N.J. For more information and to register, visit hazon.org/calendar/philly-bike-ride-2.
All About Birds Weekend Meet the squawking, talking live birds of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University during this special weekend in conjunction with the Birds of Paradise exhibit. Learn about the anatomy of our feathered friends and investigate what it means to be a bird-of-paradise, all through fun hands-on activities, experiments, crafts and more.
Philadelphia VegFest Philadelphia’s first VegFest will feature plant-based food vendors, such as Rich Landau and wife Kate Jacoby of Vedge with their new venture, V-Street; vegan cooking lessons; health and nutritional information. Speakers include Christina Pirello, chef and whole foods expert, and Chef Rachel Klein of Miss Rachel’s Vegan Pantry. Sponsored by The Humane League.
→→ Sat., June 7 & Sun., June 8, all day. Free with
→→ Sat., June 14., 11 - 4p.m. Free. The Shambles,
07 & 08
admission. The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. For more information, visit ansp.org.
2nd and Pine St. For more information, visit thehumaneleague.com/phillyvegfest .
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Time After Time As the months change, so do a farmer’s emotions by Daniel Heckler
often wonder whether farming is just a game of emotions. The pay is low, the hours are long, the work is physical and the weather pretty much controls the season’s outcome. Throughout the year, I ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” But every year I seem to find a renewed sense of hope, and the game continues. Despite the desolation outside, January is full of optimism. Final planning commences, seed catalogs arrive, conference season unfolds and there is much maintenance to do. A farmer in January is full of hope, with dreams of the perfect season ahead. February’s short days and cold temperatures temper that wishful thinking. There might be a
tree or two to fell and turn into next year’s logs, but the really physical work—the kind that distracts, disappears. Restlessness is overtaken by the anticipation to put seed to soil. Thankfully, by February’s end, seeds are indeed growing in warm greenhouses. March begins its slow turn, then quickens a bit, and I feel fear. Daily inspections of germination rates lead to a sometimes overwhelming angst that those precious seeds will not grow, that I’ve messed up. Too deep. Too shallow. Too wet. Too dry. Too cold. Too warm. March’s gift of time works against you. As April dawns, the fear subsides. The haze of green on the greenhouse tables spurs ex-
citement. Early planting in the field is already underway. Onions, potatoes and early greens impart the exhilaration of spring. April’s controlled routine of bed preparation, tray seeding, field transplanting and early market sales spirals into May’s overwhelming growth. What was once January’s crisp paper plan is now a dirty, worn, folded reminder of what isn’t getting done. Time and the To Do List are at odds in May and June. Work harder, work faster. If it doesn’t get planted now, it can’t be sold later. The pressure is nearly overwhelming. Sales at the markets are already cresting. A combination of giddiness and confidence, the result of praise from market shoppers and CSA customers, keep me going. As day-length nears its peak and the warmth of the sun is at its most pleasant, intense focus keeps me from exhaustion. July brings heat waves and weariness. Weed, cultivate, harvest, sell and sweat. Both harvests and the heart become heavy. The lightness of spring greens shifts to the weighty work of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and potatoes. August’s humidity follows. The dry soil makes for hard cultivation, and bugs are relentless. Skeptical thoughts about why we farm swirl. Should this year be our last? I tell myself, “Just get the fall crops through the dry heat; just get through until fall. “ A Pennsylvania September day—clear skies, low humidity and 70 degrees—helps me catch a second wind. There is still hope. It’s the last chance to plant for the Thanksgiving and winter holidays. My spirits are lifted, and I let myself relax into the loosened pace and pleasant weather. I look forward to the weeks around the holidays where there’s an excuse to take a day or two off. Frost marks the pleasant relief of another season truly coming to an end. November is a time to clean. Fields are put to bed. Tractors till, and cover crops are planted. The increasing orderliness of fall cleanup helps spark the realization that, yes, I can do this next season. The list making begins. The family gets closer and the holidays nourish us. Warmed by the wood cut last February, December melds into January and hope burns bright again. daniel heckler and his wife, Deb, own and operate Jack’s Farm, a 10-acre USDA certified organic vegetable farm in Pottstown, Pa. You can listen to Dan’s interviews of food industry folks on his podcast Jack’s Farm Radio. For more information, visit jackasfarm.net and jacksfarmradio.com .
Each month, Dispatch features personal reflections on adventures in sustainability. Have a story you’d like to share? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org 30
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illustration by kirst en harper
How a developer turned conservationalist
Jeffrey Cowan Master of Environmental Studies ‘12, University of Pennsylvania To learn how Jeffrey uses his business acumen on behalf of water conservation efforts, visit www.upenn.edu/grid
Jeffrey Cowan was about to sell a successful real-estate development business. It was a crowning moment for the Wharton (‘02) grad. But instead of his next commercial venture, Jeffrey was thinking about the desert. In his years dealing in land on the U.S.-Mexico border, Jeffrey saw the impact of growth first-hand, including struggles over water rights. He realized he wanted to protect access to water for vulnerable people and ecosystems. Jeffrey applied to Penn’s Master of Environmental Studies (MES) program to make the change in careers.
Staff from Penn’s MES Program are here to answer your questions face-to-face on the second Wednesday of each month. Walk right in.
“MES allowed me to create my own concentration in financing for water resources. I was able to take classes perfectly suited to my needs at other schools across Penn, like the Design and Engineering schools,” Jeffrey says. Today, Jeffrey is a member of the water security unit for the Latin American region at the Nature Conservancy, a leading environmental nonprofit worldwide. “I started my new job with the context I needed to hit the ground running,” Jeffrey says. “Growth happens — and now I get to work to make sure it happens in ways that are smarter for the environment and the people who depend on it.”
Stake Holders: Parks & Recreation, the Philadelphia Horticultural Society and empowered citizens rebuild our urban forest Also Inside: Art...